Telugu Titans won a thriller of a game against Haryana Steelers 35-31 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Vizag on Sunday. With the game still alive until the final raid, Nilesh Salunke got a Super Raid to help the home side to a win. Telugu Titans’ defenders were excellent on the night as they managed six Super Tackles amongst themselves.
The game started on an even note with Telugu Titans opening up a two-point lead before an Ankle Hold by Kuldeep Singh on Rahul Chaudhari levelled the scores at 3-3 in the 4th minute. Haryana Steelers then started building a lead, helped by a couple of self-outs by Telugu Titans’ Abozar Mohajermighani and Farhad Milaghardan.
With Telugu Titans down to two men on the mat, Haryana Steelers had the opportunity to inflict an All-Out. But Vishal Bhardwaj managed to get a Thigh Hold on Vikash Khandola in the 10th minute to inflict the first Super Tackle of the game and take his team back into the lead. Chaudhari inflicted a Super Tackle of his own after that as he managed to get an Ankle Hold on Monu Goyat in the 11th minute.
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Chaudhari’s touch on Kuldeep Singh reduced Haryana Steelers to two men on the mat and the raider then followed it up with touches on Mayur Shivtarkar and Parveen to inflict the first All-Out of the game in the 16th minute. This increased Telugu Titans’ lead to nine points. Telugu Titans ended the half with a seven-point lead as the scores read 20-13.
Haryana Steelers started the second half on a positive note with Goyat getting the first three points of the half, reducing Telugu Titans to two players on the mat. But Telugu Titans then got in their third Super Tackle of the night as Anuj Kumar managed to get a double Thigh Hold on Goyat in the third minute.
Telugu Titans’ defenders kept piling the pressure on Haryana Steelers’ raiders as they inflicted a fourth Super Tackle in the 11th minute courtesy of an Anil Kumar Ankle Hold on Vikash Khandola. Mighani followed it up with a Super Tackle of his own -Telugu Titans’ fifth of the game - in the following minute as he managed to get a Thigh Hold on Naveen to increase Telugu Titans’ advantage to ten points.
Goyat then got into the act, as he first got a touch on Bhardwaj to reduce Telugu Titans to two players on the mat before following it up with touches on Mighani and Anil Kumar to help Haryana Steelers inflict their first All-Out of the game in the 16th minute. This also helped Haryana Steelers reduce the deficit to four points with the scores reading 29-25.
Goyat got his Super 10 in the 17th minute with a touch on Mighani. This brought the deficit down to a point before a touch by Goyat on Milaghardan levelled the scores at 29-29 with Haryana Steelers having scored 10 unanswered points in the previous five minutes. Goyat helped himself to a tackle point as well with an Ankle Hold on Chaudhari in the 19th minute. Chaudhari, however, managed to get a bonus point in that raid to get to his Super 10 and keep his team level.
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Bhardwaj then got his second and Telugu Titans’ sixth Super Tackle of the night, to put them back into the lead in the final minute of the game. This also gave Bhardwaj his High 5. Salunke came in for the final raid of the game with the scores reading 32-31 in favour of Telugu Titans. In their attempt to tackle him and earn a tie, Haryana Steelers ended up conceding a Super Raid as Salunke got touches on Sunil, Goyat and Kuldeep Singh before stretching his hand across the midline.
Best Raider: Rahul Chaudhari (10 raid points)
Best Defender: Vishal Bhardwaj (6 tackle points)
Best Raider: Monu Goyat (11 raid points)
Best Defender: Kuldeep Singh (3 tackle points)